Polyethylene glycol (PEG), a high-molecular weight colloid, is added to preservation solutions in order to decrease cold- and ischemia-induced injuries of the grafted organ. We evaluated on LLC-PK1, a porcine proximal tubular epithelial cell line (1) the efficiency of several commercial preservation solutions (University of Wisconsin, Euro-Collins, Celsior, SCOT, IGL-1), and (2) whether adding PEG (400–35 000 Da) in a simple extracellular-type buffer modified cell integrity and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. SCOT was the most efficient commercial solution. Moreover, only PEG 35 000 Da totally preserved cell viability, induced a decrease on reactive oxygen species production and a decrease on p38-MAPK activation. Furthermore PEG 35 000 Da stimulated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). However, the inhibition of JNK pathway, with the specific SP600125 inhibitor, in the presence of PEG 35 000 Da did not affect cell survival. We also confirmed on whole pig kidney the protective effect of PEG 35 000 Da on cold-induced tubular injuries. This study confirms PEG antioxidative properties, but we demonstrate that its effect on JNK signaling pathway had also a paradoxical effect on cell death. This sheds a new light on PEG effects during cell preservation, independently from the classical immuno-camouflaging hypothesis.